Crusaders take advantage of Criminal miscues
Yuma High and Northwest Christian were each scheduled to play Antelope in the final day of the Shamrock Baseball Classic on Saturday.
When the Rams didn't show up, they decided to play each other.
The Crusaders took advantage of some key Criminal errors and finished the tournament with a 7-4 win at Yuma Catholic.
Yuma High ended the tournament with a record of 1-3 — its win coming from a 3-1 victory over Holtville on Thursday.
“It was a learning experience. We're trying to put some people at certain places and trying to figure out where we should be for our conference schedules,” Yuma High coach Judd Thrower said. “We're trying to get our lineup and our pitching rotation set. Any time you play games like this, you get a feel for your team.”
Yuma Catholic athletic director Rhett Stallworth said he was told at the last minute Antelope didn't have enough players to field a team.
Yuma High senior Daniel Ramirez went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs on the afternoon. However, Ramirez picked up the loss on the mound, pitching into the fifth and allowing five earned runs on four hits with six walks — but also had four balks.
“Daniel is one of those guys who throws really well but he hasn't pitched a lot,” Thrower said. “He has a real strong arm so that's why we threw him today to see if he can pitch. When he threw his fastball and curveball for strikes he threw well.”
The Criminals jumped out to an early lead in the first when Ramirez singled home sophomore Kevin Hunt and freshman Jose Gutierrez hit an RBI sacrifice fly to center field to score sophomore Vincent Guerrero for a quick 2-0 lead.
Northwest Christian added one in the bottom of the first when a pickoff attempt by Ramirez to first base went into foul territory and allowed Kaleb Worrell to advance to third. Worrell later scored on a balk by Ramirez.
Yuma High got a boost in the bottom of the second when sophomore Riley McAdams singled to left field, and when the throw into the infield was off, he managed to slide safely into second base. He eventually scored when Northwest Christian made back-to-back fielding errors.
“Just him being aggressive,” Thrower said. “It starts with him busting out of the box and getting that nice round, where it's, ‘I want something to happen,' instead of, ‘This is the big leagues, I'm going to coast into first base.'
“But bust around, the guy messes up and boom, he's on second base. And it also brings the team up.”